How To Recognise A Grain Of Off-Grid Salt. Or Something.

When I was pregnant with my first daughter I was very typical in that I thought I knew EXACTLY how it was going to be (stay with me here lads this isn’t a chick’s pregnancy post). I’d read the facts about everything. I couldn’t get enough and I knew EXACTLY what I should and shouldn’t do in regards to everything for this upcoming baby. I disagreed with others ways and definitions (after all I was in my first years of early childhood studies at the time), and could quote my very reliable sources. Surely Sheila Kitzinger wouldn’t steer me wrong. The bath temperature would be exactly x (or I was doing it wrong according to nurse A), the eating and sleeping regime would be ordered and precise (or I would damage my babies inner workings according to clinic sister B), and the list goes on and on. Problem was I’d never actually had a baby. I was pregnant and on my way but had never had to deal in the real time with my baby. I worked everyday with babies, but again, never had to live day in and day out with a baby…but I was pregnant so I was GOING to have a baby and I was getting prepared in every way I could. Then I had the baby. It soon became apparent that I knew everything and nothing. There’s way too many parameters and although knowledge is excellent, when it comes down to everyday life, in and out, you usually just wing it and do your best.

I know this may suit many other situations, however I am actually astounded at others, particularly on online forums/pages/etc, that seem the need for a militant definition of what it means to live an off grid extistence, and I very much liken it to the almost-a-parent scenario above.

To me transitioning to living the off grid lifestyle means we make our own power (Wombat Stomp uses solar and wind), we collect and store our own irrigation and drinking water (in our case the waterhole for irrigation and tanks for drinking and kitchen, shower usage), and we dispose of our own waste (we have a high quality composting toilet system and use the humanure). Besides that our OG dream may be very different than the philosophy of others who choose to live away from the utility grid.
Some may choose the OG life because they firmly believe they need to prepare for a catastrophe in the system. They store particularly water and food, learn survival skills and basic power and are very much into weaponry and how to defend yourself. They are off gridders.
Some may be into extremely simple living using bare necessities, tiny solar systems if any, cooking only using fire, building their own small cabins from scratch. Not worrying about upgrading as they go and being isolated. They are off gridders.
Some may live in communities where they work together in peace to build their own systems and infrastructure as a group and from the ground up. They are off gridders.
There are as many ways as there are people.

None of these are in the same line thinking as we are. We can store 15kw power. I have my kitchen gadgets, we have a TV (no reception but we watch DVDs etc), we play video games on a variety of consoles, I vacuum, steam mop, have a 420litre fridge/freezer and use many other power wasters, because I can. While happy to use fire for cooking and heat in winter, there’s no way I’m heating up an already extremely hot summers day with a fire going in the house. I live in Australia, dammit! I have a gas cooker that is about 50 years old. Works fine. Of course Joe Blow from Somewhere feels the need to tell me I’m not a true off gridder if I’m still using mod cons. Really Mr. Blow, tell me more as you sit behind your keyboard in Suburban Somewhere hoping to OG in the future. As far as I can tell if we can make enough power that is clean and free, why the ferk wouldn’t I use it?
We use a great composting toilet system and have a large chamber that we change about every 9 months (depending on the traffic). The reduction is remarkable and we end up with a few centimetres of what looks like worm casings in the bottom to be emptied on the grow area. However Jill Smith from Another Somewhere knows emphatically that you can’t use human waste on edibles because she’s going to go OG and has read all about it, while Mr Smirk from Placeunknown says all you need is a bucket a padded seat and some sawdust, and commercial composting toilets are not the REAL way and when he goes OG….. Yeah? Well I 100% wouldn’t be putting that anywhere near the house, let alone on edibles. To me that’s just a drop loo using sawdust so you can live with the smell, it’s not a composting loo. We need to grow food and the most sustainable method is to make our own compost with all the waste we can gather to compost. No way there’s enough heat in simple home jobs to compost to the state we need it. For others this bucket system may be fine (but I’m still unsure what happens to the poo after the bucket step, I’m assuming it just gets buried raw?).
As for water storage? We have a variety of tanks and sizes doing different purposes around the property. We don’t clean them, we don’t use a whiz bang filter (we use a bit of mesh over the opening on one and an upturned bin on the other to keep possums out), we don’t put kerosene (yucky) in them and we don’t have pumps for pressure and we don’t get the water tested. What we do do is drink it, shower in it (gotta love gravity) and wash up in it. “Oh NO” says Mrs Rules from Rulesville. She tells me I’m making myself and crew sick from parasites and we will all have worms, or worse!!! The Stomp water is delicious and we have friends who take a container of it back to the city with them. I don’t have worms and our friends aren’t filling up wards in the hospital dysentery unit with gut bugs. Our dogs drink it and if you put a bowl of city filtered apparently “safe” water next to Stomp water, they will choose Stomp water every time.

There’s no off grid definition for people’s reasons and decisions and own philosophies. Why can’t we see as a group, striving to be gridless, that no one’s right or wrong in why and how, just different? Why can’t we have discussions on point instead of reverting to judgements on the why rather than discussing the how? Why don’t we want to learn from those who have gone before us and gather practical, experienced knowledge and instead throw misinformation (no, it’s true because someone has a you tube talk on it) around wildly nilly and loudly while those who are actually walking the walk get shouted down because they don’t agree with a link someone posts or something their friend’s brother’s cousin told them, who is also researching off grid living from his flat in a city.

I know nothing about the electrics of the solar systems. We have two. I’m learning through necessity. I know a lot more about how an inverter works and where the transistors and capacitors are simply because one of our inverters blew and I’ve been watching/listening to George and Michael fixing it. I also now know the other inverter can’t run the vacuum cleaner we had, and how to reset it 🙂 It’s all well and good to tell someone they have to use this inverter or they must set their solar panels a particular way or they have to have such and such cabling, because they’ve done all the research before they head off grid and know this from their electrician friend. In reality, boots on the ground, what happens at night, when you’ve just stocked your freezer with meat that you’ve harvest swapped for and its your food for the next 3 months and BOOM your power goes out? You are isolated in the middle of nowhere with no electricians anywhere within a cooee at the best of times let alone emergency electricians. Some off gridders would say, “See that’s why you don’t rely on power, even off grid,” (fair enough) while the guy who recommended, in fact insisted, that you must have a system using exactly this and that, doesn’t actually know anything about what could be wrong….he didn’t research that. But the guy up the road or your mate who is visiting knows about that stuff and can teach you practically while you fix it, and thus real knowledge and real experience is garnered.

When we started this journey there was so much I knew we had to do. So much research into how to do a thing EXACTLY. There was a particular order of priority to fix things at the house and a timeline to redo infrastructure. There was an overload of information given as definite fact from everywhere I looked, online forums, reference books and materials, anecdotal tales of woe and it wasn’t until we started learning our property, our quirky storage container home (with extension :)), the way the bush moves through the seasons, what wildlife do what, which batteries are the best and in which array, etcetcetc.., that it became apparent that unless you are doing it, living it either perm or in transition, there is no way of defining anything. It is necessity that teaches you. It is nature that teaches you and it is most definitely those who have gone before that teach you. If you ask a question about a practical piece of know how and instead get judged for how you use whatever you are fixing rather than a chat about the thing you need to know, or you get sent a barrage of must-be-done-like-this links from someone not actually with boots on the ground, or you are made to feel stupid for asking, then you are not asking the right people.
Would-be-if-could-be or definitely-going-to-be or pedantic-to-the-rules-and-regulations people, I have found, have nothing but ego to offer. Sift through information and people, you’ll soon get a feel of who to listen to.

We are transitioning off gridders. We love nature. We want to self sustain as much as we can without it become cult like ridiculousness. We want to live with our bush paradise, not against it. We don’t ever want guns and hunting on our land. We want our crew to join us in the highs and the lows and always feel welcome. We want to party. We want to grow food. We want to rescue, rehabilitate and release wildlife that we find injured or orphaned. We want to work and renovate and change and get our hands dirty. We want to relax. We want to feel freedom.
We want to share our journey and even if it doesn’t fit with others philosophies we hope to inspire others to follow their own off grid dream in whichever way that defines themselves.

We are George and Beth
We are off-gridders.

Until next time,



Roll On Summer…You Beaut Brute!

Eeeks…time flies and months have gone by without getting a blog entry done and dusted. So this entry should come with a could-be-a-long-one disclaimer. I’ll also be much better at getting updates done. Thank you for the kind messages checking in that we were okay.


The heat of summer smashed into The Stomp with ferocity. The house has coped well except for when these tiny little insects descended. They got through the screens and the house filled with them around every light. It was bloody horrible. I really dislike those little buggers…..INTENSELY. Much cleaning and vacuuming was had the next day. Luckily the solar was pumping and my Shark vacuum made short work of a freakin hideous chore.
The heat has been way above 30 for weeks now and we remain nervous regarding fire. Tomorrow will be 41 and winds up to 45km/h. There is a total fire ban again. We hit just over 41 today.
Bit scary. Currently conditions are extreme and likely to turn catastrophic within the next 24 hours. George is working in Canberra tomorrow so we are in town tonight watching the fire app obsessively. There are no fires anywhere near us at this point. Phew!
The crispy summer mornings, while beautiful, feel hot and dry. The dam is still green and wonderfully alive however it has receded, a lot, as is expected. We have plenty of water stored for drinking and irrigation drippers but some non storm rain over a few days would be highly appreciated.

Soooo, let’s break this down….

The Deck Project.
Still no roof 🙂 The deck has been very well used over summer. We were given a beaut old outdoor lounge set. It needs a bit of repair but no one seemed to mind over summer and you would often find a Stomper laying out in the cooler night air. Very comfy. We also scored a matching, free glass topped dining table and 6 chairs. The deck is such an amazing addition. I don’t know how we got through last summer with a tiny window in the container, and no beloved deck!

Last week I got a cool, little, old bar and some old comfy bar stools (4) from the local gumtree site. 50 bucks!! BARGAIN (and they threw in a free old iron chiminea). I’ll wait until the roof is on and a fence put on that end of the deck before I set it up because:
1. It’s not hardwood
2. The fence may be very necessary after a few drinks and I imagine there will be an assortment of would be bar tenders plying their trade, in a disorderly state, after a night at the bar.
We are still deciding on the ratio of corri and clear to get the balance right between full shade and light for the southern end of the house.

The boys did, however, get the sliding door framed and a step platform built just inside the house side made from decking boards. Looks very cool after having Sikkaboom hanging out the cavities for nearly a year. It’s newly insulated behind/above the door frame and the curtains are now running freely on a curtain rod, instead of panels on S hooks. Very freakin civilised!



George has the building bug on and he also made me a great little platform for my bar stool so I can reach the new workbench that we picked up. George has braced it to be more solid and moved it into the outdoor nook which is going to be my little studio. It’s high so I can watch the birds and going ons in the yard. Perfect throne to sit and create. Bought myself a terrific yellow vice too! We now also have a beaut gate so that the dogs can be kept in either side of the house, if needed. George whipped it up from a pallet and it’s perfect.

The New Entry and Yard Wildlife Area Project.
Yeah, nah. The Wisteria has gone bonkers and undone a lot of my days of work. However, the size of the funnel webs that make the holes in my yard and not to be trifled with, so the entry project is alive but on hold until cooler months. I don’t want to come across something that doesn’t like my whipper snipper or inadvertently kill a sweet little reptile hiding in the ground cover, so it’s all natures again until autumns end.
The other side of the house is where I am building a little escape for birds and small reptiles. It will feature a pond which is dug to shape but needs to go a bit deeper for retention. I’ve piled up a heap of large branches, that Stompers have collected for me, ready to extend the perches I already have dug in. These are used heavily by our bird life. Because I had to move the pile for mowing, I threw it over a tyre in the mini refuge area. To our delight a bearded dragon mama thought it the perfect place to have her babies. She, Aretha is the proud mother of twins Jimi and Hendrix. Can you imagine washing the dishes while watching tiny baby beardies at play? Jimi tends to stay close by their entry hole on the upper branches and is a shy one. Hendrix on the other hand is very brave and social. He runs around the lawn area on his tiny hind legs. It’s unbelievably cute. George went out to take a pic of him and he happily ran up and posed. He was within a metre of George. Paradise, I tell ya!


Christmas and New Year.
Yup! I love Christmas time. You can Bah and you can Humbug but I will still decorate and put up the tree and torture you with Christmas Carols. This year the Hansons Christmas album featured heavily. They all secretly loved the music choice, well, they didn’t really love it, I guess. 🙂


My mum and sister came out for the day and friends and family arrived throughout the day. We had a big BBQ and delicious salads, fresh bread rolls and lots treats. Very simple bush Christmas lunch with a crew of lovelies.

We partied on over the next few days and had a bit of a do for NYE. And now the Happy New Years are a month in and the Christmas boxes are packed up and gone back into the store container. Another year gone and I still love Christmas time.
I bought a few of the Stompers little inflatable row boats for the waterhole as xmas gifts and they were a bit of fun. George often swims in the dam but he just strips off spontaneously has a swim, gets out, no drying just dressed again and goes on about his business. Such a caveman, my gorgeous partner. We also celebrated 6 years together last week. That time has flown. I love that fella.

The Dogs – Gypsy and Dinii (Dynamite)
The friendship between the tall and the short of it has reached an understanding. They spend almost all their time together and don’t like not being near one another. They do gave a snap at each other at times, usually Gypsy enforcing her dominance. We encourage her to remain dominant and always feed her first and allow her first go at kibble. He is so big already in comparison so she has to be allowed her dominance. Although he’s grown much bigger, he is still just a puppy and very floppy with those long, long legs. He’s also in the very naughty stage. It’s just as well he such a loveable rogue as he tests my patience daily!!! He is a large breed so they desex much later. We are assuming desexing will settle some of his behaviours. He’s responding well to treat training. George does a lot of bush training with him. He thinks George is the ants pants and just loves these training walks. Gypsy of course goes along but as she is already good out on the property she thinks the treats are just presents and accepts them gratefully. Dinii loves his bed and goes into it when we go to crash for the night and stays in it or on the floor near it. We have found that the clay in the waterhole is actually cleaning their fur/skin. Their coats are like silk and although white Gypsy comes back up covered in mud, once she’s cleaned herself off she is bright white. Luckily we have a lot of lush reeds in the wetland part of the water and they keep the water fresh and filtered even if muddy from stirring the clay up.


Around The Place.
There’s cider brewing in the secret room (that’s another blog on it’s own), James’ beer in a shed. There’s new solar lights in the party area and a public holiday in March. The second inverter has now had all the obvious burnt out parts replaced. Some mossfets and 2 capacitors. George and Michael have been working on it over the past few days and apparently it has a date with the multi meter and hopefully this means I’ll have my power points working again.


Right now we are using power boards and extension cords for appliances but the fridge and lights run off another system which has an emergency power point which we are using to run everything else. No problem with having enough power. We have even disconnected a bank of batteries as we don’t need them…and we do pump the power 🙂 Love no power bills but still able to run anything an on grid house can. The toilet fan died out and that was not ideal! I was not a happy chappy as there is no way, no how, I’m living with a stinking toilet. George found the fan and replaced it with a new one. Since then it’s been back to it’s non smelly self. Lesson learnt though, It doesn’t just stop, it dies out slowly and we need to catch it MUCH earlier next time.

We are having our work shirts/overalls screened with our new Stomp pic and we will also be selling TShirts to help raise some funds for the first enclosure. By law an outdoor enclosure must be a minimum of 10×7 metres (iirc) so it’s quite a task as we have to sink L shaped mesh 30cms down and at a right angle 30cms into the enclosure to prevent burrowing straight through the bottom. Add star pickets, fencing wire, fencing mesh and it soon adds up, so we thought this might be a fun way to add to the enclosure kitty.


I’m sure I will think of a hundred things I meant to add but for now that’s been the goings on at Wombat Stomp.
I’ll leave this with some pics of my new friends at the dream job I started in February. Working in the wildlife industry is a true blessing. My office is 200 acres of wonderful bushland about an hours drive away. My work mates are a few dozen wombats with the odd orphan duckling and/or roo or bird thrown in for diversity. My bosses are dear friends who are like family.

Sure, there’s going to be obstacles and challenges as we continue to move forward with our plans for The Stomp but there is so much more joy that the bad days are soon dissipated into the beauty of the bush as dusk hits and shines it up like a jewel.

Good night from Wombat Stomp 🙂


Until next time….Pass it on!


Wisterias, Whipper Snippers and the Great Entry Genesis.


In the house yard are two old wisterias. One is pulling down the fence and isn’t really in a good location, besides the damage its doing. I’d rather have the view of the water than an ornamental tree. It has spread madly and needs to go!


The other is interesting (above). Amongst it is 3 old metal strung bed bases that have at some point been stood up and were going to be used as a house entry. This clearly never happened and over many, many years the wisteria has grown up and through and around it….and forgotten about.

Currently the entry of the house is through the back, or maybe it’s the front!

James, Gypsy and Dynamite coming in the front gate (or is it the back?)

It was the only entry except for the laundry door which is on the western side of the container’s extension.


Now that we have the deck on I have decided I want the house entry to be at the back, or is it the front? This means people will enter from the deck straight into the lounge room, which I prefer.

Before deckimage

Investigating the mess inside the wisteria I also found a gate that was made to fit, but again, never happened and ended up caught in the wisteria tendril mess. However, I got it in my head that the new entry was coming through that wisteria and that was it. It HAD to freaking happen!!! Where to start?

For my birthday in Oct I asked for a mini, simple whipper snipper. Yes, yes we have a whipper snipper, in fact we have a really good Stihl multi head system that does everything, but I am 5ft and small. Now I don’t know about other ladies but that bloody Stihl is like wielding some kind of scary, vibrating, jousting lance for me, and as for the whole changing cord thang! Nope! But I needed some tools to suit me. I found the Fiskars secateurs and lopers light and easy for small hands. George bought me a very small, simple, inexpensive Ozito brand (Bunnings) snipper which came with a little blower (the Stihl blower pretty much blows me backwards!!). No cord, no fuel, small blades that wear down to nothing so no bits and pieces of cord around the place. Clip on clip off. It is battery powered which is great since our power to charge it is free. This little thing totally punches above its weight! I think we are all surprised at the length of time the battery lasts, the ease of the blade replacement and the oomph it has for its size (bit like me). Sooooo, armed with these new Beth sized tools and my trusty work overalls and boots I headed off to tackle the beast. It didn’t look positive. The ground litter caught up in the bed bases was about 1/2 metre deep and even getting into it, to be able to clear, meant clearing a way in.

Three days work and I have it cleared, leaf litter back to ground zero and a gorgeous entryway has opened up through the tree foliage. The house fence blocks off the other side, which I haven’t started on yet. Much much more mowing, snipping, pruning and clearing to go.



Colour. Bright and many. This is what I love. My intention from here is to paint the bed frames in different colours and make some rainbow wind chimes or other pretties to hang in the branches and on the old mattress spring thing. It’s just the beginning of what I intend for the entry to Wombat Stomp. I’m also thinking a cob wall on the outer side. I’ve seen some cool shaped, contoured fence walls made from shaped hay bales covered in cob and we have plenty of clay (tested-house grade), but now I’m just getting ahead of myself….and that’s my fave thing to do. The entry to the Stomp is my newest solo project and it’s going to be a ripper!!!!

This weekend, though, we party! Happy birthday Stompers George and Adi (you can check out the Stomp crew on the crew page). May we gather in peace and love.

George getting his DJ on at one of The Stomp parties.


For those heading up please be aware there are turtles, shingle backs and snakes on the move right now. They are all over the roads. Respect them, help them off the road, if safe (well, leave the snakes to their devices but the shingles and turtles can be ushered across in the direction they are going).
To everyone else….I’m signing off to party. Oh yes, there will be pics! Be afraid Stompers, be very afraid 🙂

Lastly I leave you with a few of my wombat baby friends 🙂

Tora, Frankie, BJ and Woody

Don’t forget you can follow us by email if you don’t have a blog. We’d love to have you join our journey. I also love your comments so if you have linked here from Facebook throw your comments on here rather than where you came from, please!! Share our blog and help us get the message out there!
Until next time,


A Gridless Girl Who Sometimes Throws Tanties and That’s Okay.

“……then I look out the window and see a roo at our billabong, with her joey at foot, and the peace and beauty of the isolation of being in untouched bushland, and I know that this is where I belong.”
I wrote this recently on a Facebook page that I follow (shout out to my ALS mates). It was a part of a longer post on my interest in hearing the stories of other women who are starting out on a journey like me, are way into it, or have been doing it for decades. I’m blessed to be sharing my road with a pretty amazing bloke (most of the time) and a crew of mates, however other women are on their own and others in families with young children and as such face a completely different set of challenges.
Do the other women ever get overwhelmed with the amount of work there is to getting a place, well, working, I guess? Either building in or changing existing infrastructure to meet your needs, the way you and yours want things to run.
An example at Wombat Stomp is the water run off. We can’t afford to waste water. There are times we can use more than others and we certainly aren’t precious about it right now, we have heaps stored, but there are going to be times when water usage will be at a minimum, so preparing now is our next step.
Currently our kitchen waste water goes down the drain then through a small grease trap. After that it meets the pipe carrying the shower and laundry sink waste water and heads to a large buried filter tank and is then carried by above ground PVC pipes to the fruit tree area. This area is going to be our food forest.
We are currently only maintaining the fruit trees, as George is changing the grow beds design, buts that a whole other story, so it’s a good time to start preparing to remove the PVC piping from the filter onwards. Georges plan is to swale the run off to where we need the water throughout the food forest. It’s all there but it’s just one big job in the never ending list of projects.
Don’t get me wrong, I find talking through ideas and suggestions with the crew such a fun and happy thing to do. The possibilities are endless! We come up with the most crazy ideas that will probably never see the light of day, our pedal powered, outdoor movie theatre, for instance, will doubtfully ever happen, but it COULD. And that’s the fun part.
Then there are the brainstorming sessions of the more serious. The decision to upgrade the turbines or replace the blades on the existing ones, moving the existing compost bays to where George put in a new gate to the grow area, extending the fence line to include the chooks and hopefully a couple of alpacas, removing the 6 or so large trees for fire regulations and extending the grow area, building the green house hutches under the north facing kitchen windows and the list goes on and on and on. Then of course there’s the changes to the inside of the dwelling itself…..I can’t even begin to start on that in this update. Eeks!
I read the blogs, articles and pages of other women doing similar and they seem to be so self assured. It all seems a bit positive. Living the dream. Nothing’s impossible. But I can’t subscribe. Sometimes I get so pissed off at not knowing how to do something, or knowing I have an idea that will really work, and no one getting on board. I even throw the occasional tantrum, and that’s okay. It gets fucking hard, right? The nitty gritty. The belief and putting it in practice. The beginning. The huge step of committing to the life of reducing your footprint and being custodians of a tiny piece of untouched, natural, beautiful Australian bushland. There are times when I wonder if it is all worth it. Should I just stay in suburbia? There’s the arguments over how he sees things and how I see things, the compromises and re-sorting of our lives so we can both follow our own paths yet be strong in love and a team together. And then I remember the other list. Not a list of projects and work. Not a list of worries and what ifs. Not a list on what prioritises over what. This is a list of joys, pleasures, first times and simple ways that the Stomp breathes into everyone who visits. The calm peace and watching the bush change its mask as it moves through the seasons. The feeling of self and the growing in confidence as the land becomes familiar. The local wildlife who live around us, including our ‘pet’ wild swamp wallaby “Fulla” who follows George around. The recognition of which rosella (usually Rooster and Peggy-Lee) is now sitting outside the window. The pair of Blue Wrens (Mork and Mindy) who live in the garden and tap on the window when they want a seed treat. The frogs having some kind of sexual cacophony all night. This is a much longer list. A wondrous, almost pinch-yourself fantasy list. This is where I feel myself come alive. I never believed I could live like this, indeed I never really entertained the thought of wanting to, yet I have found in this tiny piece of natural paradise a sense of who I am, what I can achieve, what we as a couple/team can achieve, and what we with our wonderful crew can achieve and that with each achievement comes a chance to cross something off the list that adds an enhancement to the other.
To the other women out there doing it, it’s okay to have doubts, insecurities, want to strangle your other half, feel overwhelmed, wonder why the ferk you’re doing this etcetc.
It’s not all roses and convenience, that’s for sure!
For those playing at home the deck is decked, the oil is on and we are using it. It is amazing! The roof comes next and then the sheeting to cover the foundations and then the steps. Hopefully by Christmas, but at least its usable now how it is and it’s south facing so there is shade available on it somewhere all day.
Before and After
I have to share how much I love my little quaddie. I’m only a small woman and the big quad bike is just not comfortable and it has one of those silly clutch things! My little clutchless, 3 gear, 125cc is made for me and for what I need it for. I will keep adding to it with colour as I find stuff. It’s a little legend. We DO NOT use the quad bikes or our property as a place to burn around all day terrorising the wildlife. We do go out on them for a bit of a fun run around occasionally but usually they are tools. I can fit a gennie and a small water pump on mine and go out after days of bad rain and help out the wombats and echidnas by pumping out their burrows. The burrow I’m pumping out in the pictures is Chance’s burrow. It flooded completely a few weeks after we released him. I pumped 3,600 litres from this one burrow.
Finally, If its the first blog update you have read here, then please pop onto our ‘about’ link at the top of the page so you can have a look at the back story of Wombat Stomp and what we are hoping to achieve. Thanks to the people who have left comments!! I was so happy to see that these updates are being read by even just a few 🙂 Feel free to add links to your blog journey to offgridness or simple living in the comments.
Until next time!

Snake Love Not War

Snakes! Bloody snakes.

Well, snake season is upon us and it’s not with a dance and a jig that I welcome them, that’s for ferkin’ sure. So, here’s the skinny on the snake situation at the Stomp, as we know it…
We call this old tree The Magic Tree. It’s located a couple of hundred metres from the house and the billabong is between the two. This tree at some point came down but some of its root ball remained embedded, just enough to keep it alive and growing. The branches have, over years, grown vertical and each looks like it’s own small euchie. I love this tree.


Underneath the rootball is a large red bellied black snake nest. Now, I’m not anywhere near phobic (or maybe I am..Eeks) but I steer so clear of this in summer. I won’t even go near it on the quaddie!

I know there’s exceptions, and it depends on who you ask, but I’ll go with the locals on this one, even if it’s only for my own peace of mind, but red bellies are known to be top of the snake food chain and will happily eat a brown (the most common and feared snake when you live in rural isolation), if smaller. They are also more docile than the brown and have smaller fangs. Browns will chase you down if they get pissed off enough and a bite from a brown means off to hospital you go…bloody quick! We are very lucky to have a Citizen First Responder unit attached to our rural SES and he only lives a few k’s away. When we call or UHF (emergency channel of local SES) the CFR is dispatched at the same time as the ambo but will get to us long before an ambulance will. They carry anti-venom. Phew!

While I don’t believe in the solar snake stampers or the recipes for snake repellent (seriously, don’t bother, they slither right over it), I do find myself walking with a stomping motion when out in the bush in warmer months. Again, it’s probably placebo, and that’s okay! I do worry about little Gypsy, however apparently Jack Russells are usually the ones who come out best between the two. It’s that ‘usually’ that bothers me. If she gets bitten the best we can do is inject her with a strong vitamin c solution and hope it slows her lymphatic system down long enough to get to town. It’s unlikely.

For us humans, we have a snake and funnel web kit on a hook in the kitchen with step by step on how to apply. We also have 2ways that I encourage, in winter and insist, in summer, be carried when going out into the bush. This really needs to become a habit though (I’m talking to you, Stompers!)
Basically if you are a snake (who has taken up residence and is not just passing through) or a funnel web, and you are in our fenced house area then you will meet your demise. If you are in the bush on the rest of the property, live freely and without our interference, whether we see you or not. It’s a pretty good deal, we have an acre, you guys have the other 29!

It might be time to mention that we have never seen a snake at the Stomp. The previous owners had the block for 30 years. They have never seen a brown and have seen Red Bellies out in the bush, but never in the house area. I did find a huge red belly skin shedding, last year, while checking a wombat burrow. That’s enough for me!!!
And yeah….about those Funnel Web Spiders..


Gather Your Community

It’s never an easy journey this thing called life. Up, down and all other ways about, we end up a vessel full of experiences. In this huge learning curve we are embarking on, I have as my partner-in-crime a truly wonderful being. We do not always see eye to eye on what should be a priority and what is, “just a suggestion for down the track,” but we compromise and argue some more and a bit more compromise and a big old cuddle each night before we sleep. This sees us a tight team. He is that hand that when I am the only one left on the other side of the fence, when all others have run off, he’s that hand reaching back over to ensure I get through safely…sometimes it takes a minute for that hand to appear but appear it always does. This little blurb is my pride on what he and his closest mates have accomplished so far.

Our first renovation plan of the Stomp was to remove the tiny roll out window in the southern container and replace with a sliding door. The house is on a rise above the billabong with the south facing air currents coming across the water and up into the house.



Even on a very hot summer’s day this current is always cool. It seemed ridiculous to not open that south facing wall right up to allow both light (badly needed) and air flow (also badly needed). So open up we did. Although I had only envisaged a 2 metre-ish door, we ended up picking up a good, used 3 metre door on the super dooper cheap, and I am so glad we went bigger. I should just trust in the process and let George go for it. I’m the organiser, the voice of reason, the sometimes nag (bossyboots?). I like things planned and in order. A change in door size is a whole domino effect to me. Will wood come in that length? Will the container be able to take such a big glass space? Will this? Will that? George? He’s just like, “Relax babe. It’s all good,” and it usually is. Dontchahatethat?!

In this case it certainly was.

The next phase was adding the deck and pergola. After a lot of planning and discussion and with the help of Joe and his CAD, the vision in George’s thoughts on how he wanted to construct his, first ever, build came to life. Armed with a trailer load of timber, a circular saw, a drop saw, shovels, a sound system and a gennie, the boys began sawing and digging. I love watching them work together. They drink beer and I am sure entirely inappropriate at times, but seeing that sense of community, that mateship, well, I just love it. I am currently building a small reserve in the front yard (more on that in a later update) and it seemed that each time that I went around the back so much more had been done. That decking frame was going up in quick pace.


A few more weekends work and the decking part is finished and I LOVE IT!!!!!! They have done an incredible job. It is planned as to not take away the view of the billabong and it doesn’t. She’s pretty big at 300sqft. Bring on summer and sleeping out on a cool deck when it reaches 40 degrees.

Next we add the roof and steps. We are going to line the height of the front of the deck with sheet metal to match our steam punk house.

This whole project has been a display of friendship, community and brainstorming. The Stomp crew, both the ladies and the fellas, are all amazing in their individuality, but together we are phenomenal!

The new puppy is settling in really well. He is a big boy but Gypsy our JRT is keeping him in line. All is calm in the Stomp animal world.

Lastly a big shout out to our American Stomp crew, Misty and Davo. We are missing you way too much. It’s time to come back to Australia to stay. “Davo’s Place” campground is way too empty, guys.

Until next time


A Blogging we will go.

First time blogging and I think I have found my way around this thing, but bear with me while I learn :/ Hopefully this blog will be a good representation of our journey.

While I will blog regularly, I am going spend time adding pictures to the “about” and “contact” pages over the next few days before I bring you all up to date on what we are currently up to. For now you can check out a bit of info on the property using the About link above, or have a look at the Stomp crew in all their gorgeousness on the Stomp Crew page.

Until next time